Proverbs 1:7(ESV) “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.”
Is it possible that we who instruct become fools too often because we are approached so much for the answers and we actually believe that we have all of them? When we get to a point in our ministry or spiritual life that we begin to believe the “myth” that we are the guru of sorts in our sphere of influence, we are at the end of knowledge or the beginning of foolishness. This leads me to the five reasons some pastors/leaders become un-teachable.
- Legend Syndrome: We pastors are tricked into believing that we have all the answers because we spend a majority of our time being the “go-to-guy” for those we serve. They come to us, because they are admitting they don’t know (something we have a hard time with). Over time, the Enemy deceives us and we become a legend in our own mind. We must admit that we are not able to have any answers apart from God, who is the REAL legend. We must decide if it is more about making ourself famous or making Him famous.
- Unrealistic Expectations: Some we place on ourselves; others are placed upon us, but every pastor I’ve interviewed or coached states this as the number one thing they hate most about the ministry. We allow these false expectations to rule our life until we become ineffective due to an inability to relate to our flock of “sinners” who could never measure up to our perceived self-perfection. Is perfection the goal, or is it to intimately know the ONLY ONE who has attained perfection? Once we understand how unrealistic expectations destroy us, we can move forward in Trust to the only expectation that matters: Jesus’ expectations.
- The Illusion of Control: Almost every negative “situation” in a church (or any organizational) setting, boils down to some form of control. Someone thinks they need more; others think that person needs less. Trust erodes, forming into skepticism and mistrust. Without trust, relationships are non-existent. Pastors are notorious for hording up the control and never allowing those around to gain valuable experience leading. We sound very spiritual; as we explain why those lowly lay people shouldn’t have too much control…they may fail! Without the risk of failure there is no real victory. We must realize that control is an illusion, and ONLY God is in control.
- Lack of Sabbath Rest: Pastors and church leaders are the worlds worst when it comes to rest…taking a break. In fact, we brag about our lack of rest as if it is an honor to forsake our self and our families to supposedly work for the Lord. We need to realize that we are breaking a commandment of God to “remember the Sabbath (REST) and keep it holy” when we refuse to take care of our self and our families. We perceive it as selfish. However, to take care of our self so we can better take care of those around us is one of the more self-less things we can do as Christian leaders. When was your last Sabbath rest? When was the last time you spent time with your family without a cell phone or computer or any connection to your ministry?
- No close friendships: Statistics state that 70% of pastors say they have no close personal friend, in whom they can confide, other than their spouse. This is the reason for our ministry, Pastor2Pastors. We want to be a trusted ally for those in ministry leadership positions. Pastors are the only people in the church who don’t have a pastor. It is not good for any man to isolate himself. We are created to live in community…we need one another as iron sharpens iron. If you are a pastor, honestly answer the question, “Do you have a close personal friend, in whom you trust deeply?” If your answer is “no”, then please contact us and let Pastor2Pastors help. There is no other motive than to care for you, with a shepherd’s heart. One reason that many pastors have a hard time trusting is the fact that they have been burned so badly in the past by trusting those with ulterior motives and agendas. Unfortunately, this is all too common in the church…the last place it should be.
What would it mean to you, as a pastor/leader, to have someone who loves you, listens to you, and help you recover your life? What is the most important thing you think pastors need today? How could Pastor2Pastors help?